Mayor secures full funding for new traffic management center

A federal grant will fund a smart technology center to increase safety and reduce driving times.

Nashville will fully fund a new traffic management center with federal dollars, Mayor John Cooper announced, as the city continues to improve neighborhood transportation and reduce drive times along busy corridors.

A $3.65 million grant (a state award in federal dollars, with no matching local funds required) will fund a technology-focused hub, where the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT) can better manage traffic lights, gather information on traffic flows and share updates with drivers in real time, all to improve safety and reduce congestion.

Since Nashville adopted the Metro Transportation Plan in December 2020, the city has secured eight grants and partnership awards totaling nearly $44 million in less than two years.

“Today’s achievement confirms our transportation strategy: adopt a plan; leverage this plan to unlock state and federal funding; and recruiting and retaining experts who will focus solely on delivering results for residents,” said Mayor Cooper.

“At each stage of our transportation plan, we must thank the citizens, nearly three thousand in all, who mobilized and contributed their ideas. It’s an example of city government doing its job: solving problems with practical, achievable strategies and bringing our community together. »

At the hub (located at 700 Second Ave. S.), NDOT engineers and technicians will use advanced traffic signal control systems, sensor-based traffic monitoring technologies, and other tools to monitor traffic and better manage congestion.

The hub will be a clearinghouse for traffic flow updates, which NDOT will share in real time on dynamic roadway signs, social media, and with partners like the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and other metro agencies.

“We are so grateful to TDOT for awarding us the federal CMAQ grant, and we know this new traffic management center will transform the way we manage congestion here in Nashville,” said NDOT Director Diana Alarcon. . “Our department is committed to providing residents with a comprehensive, connected transportation system, and traffic management is a major part of that.”

TDOT selected Nashville for the grant, which is funded by the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. A funding agreement is now submitted to the Metro Council for approval.

“Nashvillians expect and deserve their city government to make practical and steady progress on the issues that affect their daily lives,” said Burkley Allen, who serves on the Metro Board as a district council member and served as the an early proponent of the Nashville Metro Transportation Plan.

“Traffic and transportation top the list of those key issues,” Allen said. “Today’s step forward for a traffic management center in our city shows what is possible when we focus on priorities and work together.”

Councilman Zach Young (who chairs the council’s transportation and infrastructure committee) knows Nashville’s pressing transportation needs when he’s on the job as a real estate agent.

“I travel all over Nashville for work, including some of our busiest roads, like Hillsboro, Dickerson and Gallatin,” he said. “So I can fully understand that traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels. We need to move quickly on projects like the traffic management center to keep Nashville running for our residents and visitors.

Since the city adopted the Metro Nashville Transportation Plan in December 2020, Nashville has launched its first-ever local Department of Transportation and has secured nearly $44 million for transportation and infrastructure projects in neighborhoods and along highways. main corridors.

The plan (contributed by nearly 3,000 local residents and organizations, along with community input and ideas) is the city’s strategy to create a safe, state-of-the-art, all-mode transportation network in Nashville, reduce pedestrian and traffic fatalities to build sidewalks more efficiently, repair neighborhood streets, and better connect the city’s bike paths and greenways.

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